Tigers triumph to break AFL flag drought

Tigers great Matthew Richardson had the honour of presenting the AFL premiership cup

Tigers great Matthew Richardson had the honour of presenting the AFL premiership cup

The popular thinking was that if the game was to become one-sided, it would be the Crows who would prove too good.

The victory spells the end of a 37-year finals drought for the Tigers.

There was an unsuccessful board challenge and the heat was on Damien Hardwick.

Instead Adelaide chose the worst-possible day to produce their worst performance of the season.

Jarman had won a flag in his first AFL season in 1991 with Hawthorn, but struggled on the day, gathering just five touches - and kicking one behind - while being completely blanketed by Eagle backman and future Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna.

"Who would have thought we finished 13th past year, beaten by (113) points in the last round and now we're --ing premiers", Tigers forward Jack Riewoldt told Channel Seven.

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The 28-year-old delivered on football's grandest stage, booting two goals and laying a team-high seven tackles.

Despite not having the support of his father in the crowd, Martin said: "I can not believe it". It's a quirk of our Victorian-focused game that the best team in the league this season is nearly billed as the support act to the main thing.

"All I know as a coaching group is we have to ask those questions and have to follow our hunch around our list in terms of what we think is the best to play our best footy and to the way we play, because if we stand still, others will go past us". It's a dream come true.

Defenders Alex Rance and Bachar Houli were also outstanding, while teenager Jack Graham starred with three goals in just his fifth AFL match.

During the third quarter alone he won a two-on-one contest against Crows hard nits Rory Sloane and Taylor Walker, his clearing kick forcing the ball out of bounds, and sat under a floating kick on the southern wing to take an intercept mark in front of the leading Walker.

And even though the 2017 season is complete, the Tiger faithful - loyal, loud and a little unhinged - are sure to energise the sporting capital for a few more days yet.

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Tigers key forward Jack Riewoldt then kicked three behinds, adding to their worries.

There was an early screamer and serious nerves, with Riewoldt missing the Tigers' opening three chances to kick a goal.

In Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin, the Tigers have two midfield superstars, both who have enhanced their reputation significantly over the past month.

Adding to the Crows' dramas, Luke Brown (knee) and Hugh Greenwood (calf) were among hurt players.

Rory Atkins and Josh Jenkins missed gettable shots late in the term that would have given Adelaide hope.

Dustin Martin reacts after kicking a goal against the GWS Giants at MCG last Saturday.

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